Name: Connie Boutwell
Parish: St. Joseph Church in Pine Bluff
City: White Hall
Family: Husband Timothy, three adult children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild
Why you want to know Connie: She is the state regent for the Arkansas State Court of Catholic Daughters of the Americas, an organization of more than 63,000 Catholic women in 1,150 courts (local chapters) across the United States and Mexico. For 25 years, she served as the only female civilian Army construction inspector at the Pine Bluff Arsenal and retired as a division chief.
What feeds you spiritually?
I am blessed that my Lord loves me so much because I often feel I come up short spiritually. I’m a “work in progress.” All of my prayers begin thanking God for being in my life and asking him to show me how to serve him better. Being involved in church and Catholic Daughters helps me spend time with like-minded believers.
Are you from a Catholic family?
In 1963, my mother announced the family was converting to Catholicism. I’ve never looked back.
What are the Catholic Daughters of the Americas?
Many people are unaware that the Knights of Columbus created Catholic Daughters of the Americas in 1903. Our organization is open to all Catholic women 18 years of age and older. With our motto “Unity and Charity,” we have a mission to strive every day to embrace the principle of faith working through love in the promotion of justice, equality and the advancement of human rights and human dignity for all. CDA helps women develop their spirituality and provides avenues of service to live out that spirituality.
How many courts are there in Arkansas?
The Arkansas State Court consists of five local courts and one Junior Catholic Daughters court — Our Lady of Victory at St. Joseph Church in Pine Bluff (just celebrated 100 years of service), Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception at Immaculate Conception Church in North Little Rock, Our Little Flower at St. Theresa Church in Little Rock, Our Lady of the Holy Redeemer at Holy Redeemer Church in El Dorado and Mother of Divine Mercy at Church of St. John the Baptist in Hot Springs and JCDA Daughters of Grace at Holy Redeemer Church in El Dorado.
What types of works do local CDA courts do?
Our courts stay busy all year long. Recently, we have donated to the Afghanistan refugees settling in Arkansas and made donations to the devastation in Ukraine. There are gift bags for our local shut-ins, support of food and games for the Jackson House and Christopher Homes. One court creates frozen meals to foster families who may be in court all day. We participate in the Holy Sews project, which provides handmade infant burial clothing for families that experience the loss of their baby during gestational weeks 16-25. One court project has collected items for prisoners’ Christmas bags. We are involved in White Ribbons Against Pornography week. The list goes on.
Why is it important to serve on the board of Southeast Arkansas Behavioral Healthcare?
I think in today’s world we are all aware mental health is a huge issue. Our center serves five counties in southeast Arkansas. It is important for our communities to have services available. As funding is cut for mental health, I am concerned those needing support and guidance may not have the services available.
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